I cooked this up in a hurry tonight so the form isn’t the best, but the flavor is always awesome. I like mine a little spicy, which is pretty non-traditional, but hey…this is Diet with an Identity Crisis, right? Also, this recipe shows you just how much patience I lack when cooking late on a weeknight. There are two ways to do this: the pretty way, or the lazy quick way.
Nasubi Miso (Japanese Miso Eggplant)
- 2 Asian eggplant (often marketed as “Chinese eggplant”– the long, skinny lighter purple ones), largely diced
- 1/3 yellow onion, sliced into thin slices
- 1 thai chili, cut up into thin coins and then minced up (optional)
- 1-3 tsp vegetable or canola oil
- 1/4 cup white miso (the light brown color paste, not the instant dried kind)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine seasoning– you could substitute light corn syrup with a little bit of sherry if needed. Most mass produced Mirin doesn’t have much wine flavor anyway.)
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup of soy sauce (depending on taste)
- Sesame seeds to taste
- Other potential additions if you’d like (though omitted in this recipe): 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger and/or 1/2 tsp sesame oil
(You can see I added more liquid than I’ve put in this recipe. I lowered it for the recipe because I had to drain about 1/4 of a cup of liquid off.) Probably best to turn down the heat and let it simmer for a bit, stirring every 30-60 seconds. Simmer until the eggplant starts being soft and less like styrofoam.
I kept mine on high heat, but you’ll get a prettier looking & better textured result if you cook it slower with more patience. You can cook it hot and fast like me though, if you’re impatient and really only care about flavor.
Add mirin (or the corn syrup or sugar syrup & possibly sherry mixture).
Add soy sauce. At this point, I’d pull off a piece and blow on it until cool and see if it needs more soy sauce or mirin. The taste should be neither sharply sweet nor salty, more like a salty caramel. Nom.
If you turned down the heat, bring it back up again. Mix it all up and keep mixing it over the heat. You’re going to get a nice caramelized eggplant thing going on here. The eggplant should be soft (and if you cooked it the lazy fast way like me, kinda mushy and having lost a considerable amount of its shape). Throw in as many sesame seeds as you want.
Wait for it to cook before you eat it. Don’t be a fool like me and be all “WHOO THIS IS AWESOME” and take a hefty taste of it and burn the roof of your mouth. ’Cause I can guarantee it’s really not worth the pain.
If you used your wok– please, dear god, do not wash it with soap. Let that black caramelized patina stay on there and wash it with hot water and a gentle scrubber. Then heat it up smoking hot and reseason it with some more oil (or lard, if you’re hardcore).
Goodnight to any people who read this blog but rarely (if ever) comment on it! Sweet dreams of caramelized nasubi.